Leadership is one of those words that can mean a lot of things to different people. Some of that comes from the type of companies you worked in, the leaders you worked for, who mentored you and other leaders who inspired you. To some extent it also depends on your own personality and style. Each leader brings their own unique style to the role and that may change as their own leadership evolves and changes. Many of these things also impact the culture of the company.
Each company has a culture that basically sets the tone for the organization. In some companies the culture can be toxic and difficult to work in. It makes it challenging to go there every day and try to get any work done. Thankfully I have also seen what it looks like to work in cultures that really care about their people. In those type of cultures, you can walk in the building and just feel it. It is visible in appearance, how people interact with each other and the words that they use when they talk to each other. As you progress in your career, culture is one of the biggest factors in career change decisions. People want to work in a happy environment where they are valued, empowered, have fun and get work done. I know you are saying to yourself…Have fun? How is that possible?
Some of the best experiences that I have had in my career were also those the places where we had the most fun. The leaders created the culture that in many ways resembled their own personality. Our leaders were authentic, people laughed, spent time together outside of work and were like family. By the way, we got a ton of work done too! It is motivating to get a lot of work done when you respect your leaders, know that they care about you and they inspire you to care about the business. You become a person who cares about the success of the business just as much (in some cases even more) than they do. Everyone knows the importance of the vision and they are all pulling together to make that happen.
I spent the last two days with a company that really gets it. Their leadership has created a culture that is creative, collaborative and fun. The leaders are smart, thoughtful, authentic and care tremendously about the success of the company. They embody the word family and seek to change the world with what they are doing. They have accomplished a lot and can’t wait to do even more. I was inspired by each of them and the leadership that they are showing each and every day.
Think about the culture that you want to create in your business or organization. What would make it inspiring to work there? Be thoughtful about how it would look, make people feel, etc. Be open to trying new things to see what would work best. Even starting with small changes can start to transform how the company is viewed. Create a place where your employees, prospective talent and customers say that “it just feels right” to work with this company.
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